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Messages - nonac

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I can't believe they are just now putting out an official announcement for this, 7 of the weekends have ready happened!

Macro / Re: Flower macros
« on: April 27, 2014, 02:17:33 PM »
A Lantana flower head prior to opening. The entire head with all the buds as you see it in the picture has a diameter of 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch.

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 17, 2014, 09:13:19 PM »

I did many years ago, but Rand has recently raised there rates a little.  Are you saying H&U is cheaper?

It may be cheaper.  I just scheduled about $14k with them and also added $10k for rental/loaner gear and my premium is $287.  Replacement value and worldwide coverage. It sure doesn't hurt to shop around every couple of years because some companies will try to sneak the rates up on you hoping you won't notice.

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 17, 2014, 06:56:18 PM »
Since this thread was posted I have taken the time to look into some insurance, and some from the providers that some of you have mentioned on this thread, and have found that it is a major challenge to find something affordable that can cover more than, say, $10K in equipment.  My homeowners policy rider, in the amount to cover my equipment, would be nearly $2,000 per year but would not cover more than $10K in losses or damage outside of my home, which is where I would need the insurance coverage the most....I checked with Hiscox and their insurance would only cover up to $10K...anyone out there got anything that would cover, say $50K worth of equipment at a cost say $1,000 per year instead of $2,000...???
I you join the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA), you can sign up for insurance through Rand/Chubb.  My one claim experience was very positive and it is true commercial photography insurance so there's no need to worry about affecting your homeowner's policy or having a claim rejected due to "commercial use" or anything like that.   It's $0.0245 per dollar of insurance (you determine the full replacement value) so $10k of insurance would be $245 a year + $100 annual NANPA membership fee - $345.  I have well over $10k worth of gear insured and I'm sure George Lepp and others (who use their insurance) do as well.  NANPA's pretty cool, too, so the $100 isn't a waste at all.

Get a quote from Hill and Usher.

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 14, 2014, 04:32:59 PM »
Unfortunately, none of the State farm agents in Houston agreed to a stand-alone policy. I think it differs by location and the agent involved.

Do you have a homeowners/renters policy with them?  I'm pretty sure that's the only way they'll write a Personal Articles policy.  It's the same policy that covers jewelry, fine art, etc., above the basic limits on the primary policy, so if you have home/rental coverage with them, and the agent still won't write a PA policy, I'd get a new agent or call State Farm directly.

You are right, they will write a personal articles policy WITH a renter's/homeowners policy. However, they didn't agree to a stand-alone PA policy as miah mentioned in his post. I have heard State Farm agents do so elsewhere, but not in Houston.
I don't need a renter's since I live in a high-security apartment for doctors and scientists with police surveillance and close-circuit cameras, so I am trying to get an insurance just for the photography equipment against accidental damage and security away from home, as is available in the UK (for non-professionals). I guess I might end up getting a renter's after all, but I would like to see if there are any options.

Theft is not the only reason to have renter's insurance.  What if the place burns down, gas line explosion, water pipe breaks and floods your living area.......... All the security won't stop things like that from destroying your property.  Renter's insurance is cheap, you need to get a policy.

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 13, 2014, 03:12:36 PM »
Talk to your agent and add it on to your homeowner's and car insurance for best discount.  They will have you list everything, including prices and serial numbers.  Be sure to get a rider that provides for replacement not pro rata payout for loss/theft/damage, etc.


I checked with my agent for my car/housing insurance first.  The cost of the policy was about the same; however, it did not cover accidental breakage which is important to me. Make sure you review the details of the policy carefully.

Canon General / Re: Insurance for Camera gear
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:45:30 AM »
Within the last 2 months I insured my gear here in the US through Hill and Usher.  They can develop a policy specific to your needs. I basically started off with equipment coverage (no liability) as I do no work for hire so I don't have the need at this time for liability.  I am covered worldwide for loss, damage, breakage.  I scheduled approximately $15,000 in equipment including post processing equipment.  I have a $500 deductible and my annual premium is $287. I am also covered for up to $10,000 in rented or borrowed(CPS) equipment.

Canon General / Re: How To Water Proof?
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:47:33 PM »
I kayak and have a small pelican case just big enough for my camera and most used lens.  It rides between my legs in the kayak where I can get to it quickly.  I carry two other lenses in a dry bag in the hatch.  I rarely ever change lens, but I have them if needed and will stop to retrieve them and change them out.

Photography Technique / Re: California Travel Advice
« on: March 31, 2014, 11:27:53 PM »
Night time at the Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Take your tripod, awesome panoramic shot of Los Angeles.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon USA Rebates End March 29, 2014
« on: March 28, 2014, 08:50:58 PM »
Picked up a 24 f/1.4L II for landscapes. Arrived today. I will check the focus tomorrow and head out to shoot some pics.  I wish I would have had it yesterday, lots of lightning last night.

Animal Kingdom / Re: DragonFly Series
« on: March 28, 2014, 08:45:54 PM »
Great pics.  If you want to get close to them while they are perched, go out early on a cool morning in the summer.  They sit very still until the sun comes up and warms them up. Take a flash with a diffuser or a reflector to get some light on them.  A bonus is that many times they have dew on them as well that can make the pic interesting.  The one I show here was during the day.  He just happened to land on a wood stake next to my chair while I was out shooting hummingbirds. 

I have both.  I primarily use the 135 for indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball.  That extra stop of light helps out a bunch when you need a fast shutter speed, especially for volleyball in a not so well lit gymnasium.

Technical Support / Re: Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 07, 2014, 11:32:58 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback.  I've been watching quite a bit of video and reading about different set-ups. Not going to pull the trigger on soft boxes, stands, etc. until I attend a couple live seminars/model shoots over the next couple of months. That will give me some hands on time with some different products that will really help in making decisions.

Technical Support / Re: Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 04, 2014, 06:12:29 PM »
I really recommend you buy a copy of Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook before buying anything else!

I have a pair of 24" Ezyboxes, and a 12x48" stripbox.  They're all very robust, the Ezyboxes are easier to set up (they just spring open and you attach the diffusion panel(s) with Velcro.  That size (up to ~600 in2 surface area) is about as big as you'd want to go with a single Speedlite.  Bigger modifiers need a monolight or a bracket to hold multiple flashes. For the 24" boxes, I have the fabric grids to limit spill, and one set of shaped diffusers (I really only use the round one, for catchlight shape).

For the light stands, as with everything, there are cheaper and more expensive ways to go.  For outdoor use, you'll want something tall, and strong enough to take a sandbag on the base (softboxes can catch the wind like a sail, although umbrellas are worse).  I have several Manfrotto light stands (two each of 1052BAC, 1051BAC, and 1004BAC). The 1051 is indoor only (small footprint), the 1052 is ~8', likely still short for outdoor use.  All of them are robust, they fold flat (vs. round like a tripod) for easy transport/storage, and stands of the same size lock together when folded. 

One stand you might consider is the Manfrotto 420B - it's a combination light stand (12') and boom.  A boom is great because you can get a light out over the subject, and the Combi Boom lets you do that when you need to, and works as a normal light stand otherwise.  The only reason I don't have one is that I have the Manfrotto 024 boom, which I mount on a 1004BAC and sometimes use to hold a monolight.  The 420B will hold a Speedlite and 24" box fine.

Thanks.  I watched a couple of hours of Syl Arena's videos online last week one day.  Very good info.  He had a question about a new book and apparently he is working on one with regard to the new 600ex-rt. I've been looking at Manfrotto stands and they do have some very good reviews.  I like your idea about making at least one of them a boom stand. I will probably start off with one stand and box and start playing around with that and see where it goes from there. I'm looking forward to the Canon sponsored class this May in St Louis that is all about flash and includes a live model shoot.  I should pick up some good info from this. 

Technical Support / Lightboxes, umbrellas, stands, etc.........
« on: March 03, 2014, 05:37:31 PM »
I haven't done much flash photography at all and this is the year I've decided to delve into it.  I recently acquired 3-600EX-RT flashes and the ST-E3-RT transmitter.  I've been playing around with them and will be taking a Canon Sponsored class on their use in my area in May.  The thing I need now is flash stands, umbrellas and/or light boxes, etc. to use with them.  I plan to use my flashes primarily for fill for indoor and outdoor portraits.  I will also use them to add light to macro shots that I take, indoor and outdoor as well.  I have no idea where to begin with the purchase of the aforementioned items.  Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks

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